Cowichan Valley one of windstorm’s hardest hit areas

All power expected to be restored by Dec. 27

As of the morning of Dec. 27, there were approximately 90 BC Hydro customers still without power in the Cowichan Valley.

Ted Olynyk, a spokesman for BC Hydro, said it was expected that those customers, mostly in the Cobble Hill and Shawnigan Lake areas and some other smaller pockets, would have their power back on by the end of the day.

Overall, approximately 30,000 BC Hydro customers in the Cowichan Valley area lost their power in last week’s windstorm.

“The Cowichan Valley was one of the hardest hit areas in the province,” Olynyk said.

“We had 120 crew members working around-the-clock to restore power on the Island through Christmas, with many field workers coming from all over the province, Alberta and even as far away as New Brunswick to help out. We’re hoping to have everyone who lost power in the province get it back by New Year’s.”

RELATED STORY: POWER OUTAGES STILL PLAGUING COWICHAN

Olynyk said BC Hydro is asking anyone who is still without power to phone 1-800-BC Hydro to assure they are on the list to have their power restored.

“Many just assume someone else has called to report their power outrage, and it’s hard for BC Hydro to determine who is still without power using meter information alone,” he said.

The storm that struck the Island and the Lower Mainland on Dec. 20 was one of the most severe storms BC Hydro has experienced in years, packing winds that gusted to more than 120 kilometres an hour in parts of the Cowichan Valley.

The storm knocked out power to more than 700,000 BC Hydro customers overall, closing businesses and creating havoc on the roads due to downed trees and branches, as well as blacking out traffic lights leading to long delays as drivers had to treat intersections as four-way stops, even on major highways.

Warming centres were established throughout the Valley for those without power soon after the storm abated.

As of the morning of Dec. 27, about 4,000 customers remained without power on Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands.

According to a press release from BC Hydro, due to the extensive damage on many of the southern Gulf Islands, customers there will have their power restored between Dec. 27 and Dec. 31.

RELATED STORY: SALTSPRING ISLAND MAN’S VIDEO SHOWS WINDSTORM’S HARD HIT

“Many of the southern Gulf Islands were the hardest hit areas, and the storm damaged hundreds of power lines, poles, cross-arms and transformers, and left roads completely covered by trees and vegetation,” according to the release.

“BC Hydro is using barges and water taxis to help move materials and more crews to the hardest hit areas. BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ continued patience as it works through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.”

Several roads in North Cowichan were also closed in the aftermath of the storm and municipal work crews have been working hard to clear the debris and reopen them.

North Cowichan spokeswoman Natasha Horsman said on Thursday that recovery efforts from the storm in the municipality are going well.

“Our work crews are doing everything they can as far as possible to clear and open roads, but they can’t touch power lines that are down so they have to wait for BC Hydro crews to be available to deal with those situations,” she said.

“We’ve been prioritizing these locations with BC Hydro and have been working to complete the clean up from the storm on a day to day basis.”

As of Thursday morning, Saltspring Road in Genoa Bay and Adelaide Street in Crofton were still closed, as well as a few other, smaller roads that the municipality is still confirming.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ben Williams, second from left, receives the Rotary Club of Duncan Student of the Month Award for September from club president Gregg Perry and Student of the Month program coordinator Kim Barnard. To the left is teacher sponsor Tom Veenstra. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan Christian standout is Rotary Student of the Month for September

Ben Williams has made an impression at DCS since day one

Cowichan LMG’s Michael Fusick plows through a Nanaimo defender during last Friday’s game at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Depth a concern for Cowichan LMG

Div. 1 club expecting reinforcements soon

The City of Duncan is applying to the province for a grant that would cover most of the costs of the new Cairnsmore roundabout that is planned the intersection of Government, College and Cairnsmore streets. (File photo)
City of Duncan looking to grant to cover cost of Cairnsmore traffic circle

Federal government would cover 60%, province would pick up the other 40%.

Angie Fournier. who served as office coordinator for the Cowichan Lake Community Services, stands with the society’s community bus in this picture. (File photo)
Community Service Society vital for Lake Cowichan

Dozens of programs and other services offered

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read